What is Handbell

Handbell music has its roots in the church bell tower music of the United Kingdom, dating back over a century. Initially designed for the convenience of composition, it has transformed into a distinct performing art due to its unique techniques. A full set of handbells comprises individual bells with varying pitches, each corresponding to a keyboard key. The resonating tones of handbells evoke a sense of joy during Christmas festivities.

Handbell performances demand close collaboration among musicians, with each player holding an essential role. Audiences not only savor the splendid melodies but also witness the mesmerizing synergy among ringers. Despite forming a collective on stage, they perform as though embodying a single instrument. This ensemble experience often offers greater satisfaction than that of soloists.

In handbell training, fostering team spirit is as crucial as refining individual playing techniques. Every ringer must grasp the significance of their bell’s contribution to the music. Successful performances stem from the synchronization of each performer’s senses—sight, intellect, hands, and ears. Just as with other musical instruments, learning handbells enhances skills, patience, focus, and attentive listening. These qualities prove invaluable in children’s holistic growth and preparation for their future journeys.


The range of handbells can extend to 7½ octaves, producing clear and melodious sounds. Various handbell performance techniques offer distinctive sounds, creating layers of music. Techniques such as ringing, plucking, martellato, thumb damping, and shaking are prominent in handbell playing. Handbells can be played individually or in conjunction with other instruments like the violin, flute, organ, brass quintet, or even with an orchestra.
Handbells are versatile instruments that accommodate both solo and ensemble performances. They can be played by a single ringer or in a small group. Handbell playing is suitable for children over seven years old, making it an excellent instrument for young learners.


Handchimes are typically made of aluminum and are usually available in a 6-octave range. They share similar arrangements and performing techniques with handbells. Handchimes produce a soft and mellow sound, adding a gentle touch to the music. They can be played individually or in an ensemble, enriching the textures and layers of the musical performance.

Due to their lightweight nature, handchimes are well-suited for children over 6 years old, making them an ideal instrument for young learners. Many schools begin their handbell training with handchimes as they provide an accessible and engaging introduction to the world of handbell music.


Belleplates are one of the handbell family, originating from the United Kingdom. These instruments are crafted from copper sheets and feature a simple design. They produce a soft and mellow sound when struck with a clapper. Despite having only three octaves, these instruments are lightweight, making them an excellent choice for younger beginners learning handbells. When played in conjunction with handbells or handchimes, they enhance the depth of the music and add a noticeable dimension to your performance.


Color Handbells and Color Chimes are uniquely designed with vibrant colors, and each bell is clearly labeled with its corresponding note name and number. The visually appealing appearance of these instruments adds a sense of joy and excitement to the learning experience. Moreover, they are remarkably user-friendly, enabling even young learners to produce beautiful melodies with ease.
The Color Handbells encompass a range of 8 notes, spanning from C5 to C6. On the other hand, the Color Chimes boast a wider range of 20 notes, from A4 to E6, complete with chromatics. Additionally, the Color Chimes are available in a 13-note range, covering from C5 to C6, inclusive of chromatics. These instruments are specifically designed to be perfect choices for children aged 3 to 4 years old, providing an ideal starting point for their musical journey. For young ringers aged 4 to 6 years old, the Color Chimes present another wonderful option to embark on their handbell ringing adventure.

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